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24 Jun
Lonesome George will return to the Galapagos islands on 2014!
category: Blog
Created: 24 June 2013
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Lonesome George at the Galapagos Islands

"In early March 2014 will be fully preserved body back and ready to display," said Washington Tapia, head of PNG Applied Research. Frozen, the animal's body was sent on March 11 last to New York to be embalmed at the American Museum of Natural History for "best taxidermist of turtles in the world," said Tapia. After thawing, the bones are currently in a colony of dung beetles that handle eating the leftover meat. The bones also go to the museum in Puerto Ayora, capital of the island of Santa Cruz, where the headquarters of PNG.

After degreasing come since turtles tend to accumulate a lot of fat, allowing them to survive for several months without food or water. This process will end in January, when it will begin taxidermy, the preparation of the skin that will last about two months, said Tapia. "It will look like it's alive. It will have a position that was typical of him, with outstretched neck and legs raised.

Whoever sees it will have to come to notice that there is a living animal, "said the researcher. The PNG retained at its headquarters quelonio gonads in liquid nitrogen to analyze if there was presence of sperm, which was discarded.

"We have them in freezing if at any time another develops technical and useful. Any biological sample, if it is not broken, it is useful to science, "said Tapia.

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The PNG intends to launch in 2014 a project to try to "resurrect" the kind of "George" and tortoises of Floreana Island (Chelonoidis elephantopus), another considered extinct about 150 years ago, through captive breeding genetic relatives discovered.

In the Wolf volcano on Isabela Island, and the highest in the archipelago, 17 turtles hybrids have Pinta genes (up 80%) and about 280 of Floreana (90%). The PNG includes a plan to captive breeding and rearing taking individuals with the highest percentages of DNA to try for pure specimens, which, however, take about 120 years, because a giant tortoise reaches sexual maturity between 20 and 25 years in the case of females, and to the 25 or 30 on the males, according Tapia.

With Floreana genes of 92 individuals born in captivity since 2012, following the isolation of five females and three males after DNA analysis for the species in 2010. Galapagos Natural Heritage Site since 1978 by Unesco decision that has unique flora and fauna in the world, home to 14 species, of which have also disappeared Fernandina Islands (Chelonoidis fhantastica) and Santa Fe (Chelonoidis spp).

Thanks to ElComercio.com for this article.